Just Opened: Nadège Patisserie
Back in 2008, a for lease sign went up in the window of Trinity Bellwoods’ Art Photo Studio, making some West Queen Westers a little nervous. Would the prime location price out all the little guys? Apparently not. This spring, the studio’s decidedly dated green tiles were replaced by a white exterior and bright sign announcing the arrival of Nadège Patisserie—a high-end bakery and café that opened in early July.
It takes macaroons of steel to open a business in Toronto (let alone a bakery on the same strip as Dufflet and Clafouti). For her new eponymous shop, Nadège Nourian makes something much better: macaroons that melt in the mouth, with flavours like cappuccino, blackberry-chocolate and wasabi-grapefruit ($2 each or 12 for $20). Now in development: gin and tonic marshmallows.
When Nourian came here from Paris, she was warned that Toronto is a conservative market; if she was going to open a French patisserie, she’d better be prepared to put Edith Piaf on repeat and bulk buy wicker baskets. But Nourian didn’t want her shop to be a café-by-numbers, rather she wants to bring the latest Parisian trends to Toronto. There are obstacles aplenty: Canadian butter is too watery; Toronto’s humidity messes with the recipes; the city’s patio permit infrastructure is not for the weak-of-heart.
Pure determination has allowed Nadège to clear most hurdles (watch for a park-side patio in 2010). She wanted a refrigerated vitrine like they have in Paris, so she tracked down a European in the U.S. to make one for her. She wanted to serve (and sell) Cafés Richard coffee—absolutely no drip—so she has it shipped in from France via Montreal. Her front-of-house manager and partner Morgan McHugh gutted the Art Photo Studio, and the patisserie opened on schedule, four months after the work began.
The result is contemporary Parisian: crisp minimalism acts as the backdrop to colourful cakes (starting at $6.25 per slice) that are treated as small works of art. “If I had to make chocolate and vanilla for the rest of my life,” says Nourian, “I wouldn’t do it at all.”
Nadège, 780 Queen St. W., 416-368-2009, nadege-patisserie.com.
14 thoughts on “Just Opened: Nadège Patisserie”
Walked in one evening when they were closing, they also carry Kusmi Thé, one of the finest tea companies in Paris, descending from an pre-revolutionary Russian company – highly recommended! Each cake is a work of art indeed…Bonne Chance!
Wasabi-grapefruit macaroons? Gin and tonic marshmallows? Another fad of “Xtreme” combinations that will probably be out of business in 6 months.
The bakeries that last in this city are the ones that offer consistency: ordinary products people buy day in & day out like breads & rolls.
Toronto has a group of discerning individuals that have been developing their paletes for years. They know what they are looking for and they know when they taste the best. There are people that are interested in cutting edge Parisian cuisine and it can be found at Nadège. Other Torontonians want to be educated want to learn what is good taste. Class is in session Nadège, teach away!!!
As far as basics are concerned you can’t get more basic French than a good plain croissant or a pain au chocolat. Her fine pastry touch is in these items as well.
Thank you for coming here.
Gourmandeinspired, put a croissant in it, and relax.
You ar most obviously a friend of the owner(s) of Nadege. Uh, “class is in session Nadege, teach away”? What up with THAT?!
I think you totally missed what Weez was trying to say. And, I 100% agree with Weez’s assesment of what makes a good and long lived bakery. It’s the basics and it’s the simple things. Bakeries, in my mind, should be rustic, should be home-made like, and should be accessible to all and simple. All white for a bakery? It’s not a club.
Also Gourmande, while I think Toronto is more sophisticated in their tastes than they have ever been, I still don’t think there are enough high-end foodies to frequent such a niche spot. But oh well, I wish them luck and wish them well. I do hope they make it because I know how hard it is to make it work.
Torontonians wouldn’t know a good french pastry if it hit them in the face, unless it came from New York or Los Angeles with reviews from “Entertainment Tonight”
Why are Torontonians so smugly ignorant? This is not a bakery, it’s a patisserie–one trip to Paris will apprise you of the difference. And really–as if this town knew bread anyway.
I went in this morning. It was busy–apparently there are enough “high-end foodies” brave enough to enter. The room is beautiful; it looks at bit sterile from the street but it makes sense once you’re in there. The macaroons are unreal; the cakes irresistable. I didn’t try the croissant; the pain au chocolat was a little bready for my taste, but nothing like the atrocious bombs served at Clafouti.
As an unrepentant pastry snob, I say: Vive Nadege!
I agree with Unmoved. Torontonians are way behind…. ignorant but highly opinonated (sorry – some generalization necessary to make the point).
A couple left Nadege saying “it’s so pretentious” while another shockingly told the friendly server that “this place is very similar to Dufflet”.
This place is certainly less pretentious than the several large popular coffee chains serving “gourmet” or real coffee.
Novel products and interesting tastes. But the front-of-the-room service is very confused and error-prone. I ordered about five items. They different prices for their different pastries, but I got charged the highest price for every single item, even though those were not the ones I ordered. The problem is that the pastries are all called croissants, and the cashier was either confused about the products or just plain confused. When cashiers are confused or make errors, they always err on the side of short-changing the customer. Bottom line: assume you are in Paris, and act like there is a language problem. Some communicate clearly and slowly, and maybe you will be charged the fair amount.
Unmoved, I was re-reading this thread and came back to tell you that you are a MORON. I had to use all capitals because you seem like you have a problem understanding.
Now who’s being IGNORANT?
Please tell me you didn’t just say that it’s not a bakery, it’s a patisserie? Did you just say that?
A patisserie IS a bakery specializing in pastries you dope.
Maybe you DO need to go to Nadege school.
i hope one day toronto gets it’s act together regarding pastries and bread. i am surrounded with poor quality in the west end. there are a few places here and there, but nobody seems to know the difference between a good and bad croissant anyway.
but can our poor culinary heritage be helped? i believe so. it’s happening slowly, but it’s happening.
congrats to nadege on the open.
I know this is a late response but Shocker up there is ignorant and Unmoved is right. If you’ve been to France at all, you know that there is a huge difference between a patisserie (bakery specializing in pastries) and a boulangerie (bakery for bread). In France they differentiate between the two and you have separate boulangeries where they make bread and bread products, maybe some croissants and some buttery “bread” type things. And then you have full-on patisseries that make mostly all the specialty French sweet things (like Nadege does). Totally different places e.g. don’t expect to get your daily bread at a patisserie and don’t expect your fancy biscuits and cream cakes at a boulangerie.
Toronto needs to raise the standards of French patisseries -take a trip to France and you will know that there is simply no competition here at all because standards are so low in comparison in TO.
It’s ‘macaron’, not macaroon.
Completely different desserts.
Maybe the person seeking to edify us would have more credibility if she knew the difference between palette, palate and the non-word ‘palete’.
By lumping Torontonians as “ignorant and opinionated” you’ve thrown your self into that sweeping and unnecessary generalization. Perhaps it helps to make you feel superior to other people. I took my family to Nadege to try their macarons and we thought they were wonderful.We also had coffee,sandwiches, and a lemon curd tart. It was all so good. The service was friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was unique and served only to highlight the delicious works of art. Nadege seems to have all the right reasons to succeed. Quality,care,attention to detail, and innovative. They are obviously not afraid to experiment but are also anchored with a keen knowledge of the basics.Maybe some of you need to step away from the computer and get out more often. We have many fantastic places to eat in Toronto and perhaps to your surprise, many of those “ignorant and opinionated” Torontonians keep them in business.
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